Saturday, February 14, 2015

Review: HAPPY MARRIAGE?! Volume 10


TRANSLATION: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
LETTERS: Inori Fukuda Trant
ISBN: 978-1-4215-5943-8; paperback (January 2015); Rated “M” for “Mature”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Happy Marriage?! is the longest manga series (to date) produced by mangaka Maki Enjoji.  It debuted in the Japanese josei manga magazine, Petit Comic.  VIZ Media published an English-language version of the series for North America.

Happy Marriage?! focuses on Chiwa Takanashi.  She is a young woman who never had any girlish fantasies about courtship and marriage, but she found herself in an unlikely scenario.  The 22-year-old married a total stranger in order to get her father out of debt!  Chiwa's husband, 28-year-old Hokuto Mamiya, was the President and CEO of Mamiya Commerce.  Their marriage, for a time, was a secret, with only Hokuto’s personal assistant, Taeko Soma, knowing of the union’s true nature.  Two years later, Chiwa and Hokuto are trying to be a real married couple.

As Happy Marriage?!, Vol. 10 (Chapters 37 to 39 to Final Chapter) opens, Chiwa recovers from the would she received when she tried to protect Hokuto from a savage knife attack.  Even after that, she still cannot reveal to Hokuto the letter she received from her his now-deceased father, Seiji Mamiya, that revealed a secret.

Her reticence will not stop the turmoil within the Mamiya family.  Hokuto will learn a shocking truth about his mother, Yoko Miura, and about himself.  The revelations could ruin Chiwa and Hokuto's marriage.

I am not happy about saying goodbye to the Happy Marriage?! manga.  However, I must accept that Happy Marriage?! Volume 10 is the final volume of this series that I have come to really enjoy reading.

I don't want to spoil anything, but I will admit that there are some some explosive revelations and that there are some character revelations that are worse than some readers my have expected.  I can say that Happy Marriage?! has a happy ending.  It has a celebratory last chapter that will remind readers why this typical shojo soap opera romance manages to be something different and also something especially lovable.

Readers looking for shojo/josei romantic drama will be happy with the Shojo Beat title, Happy Marriage?!


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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